Single Hospital Service Programme

About the Manchester Single Hospital Service Programme

We are creating a new, city-wide hospital Trust which will provide much better, safer, more consistent hospital care that’s fit for the future for people living in the City of Manchester, Trafford, and beyond.

We need to change the way we deliver care to address a number of health inequalities in our region. For example:

  • Two people with the same condition, living within miles of each other, can have a different chance of survival depending on when and where they use hospital services.
  • Appointment waiting times vary dramatically depending on which hospital a patient attends and what they are being treated for.

Creating a Single Hospital Service (SHS) will allow us to build an organisation that is fit and sustainable for the future in light of rising demand on services, staff shortages and significant money pressures.

It will also bring opportunities for us to grow our research, education and investment into our region, and attract highly skilled staff. All of this will not only benefit people living in the City of Manchester and Trafford, it will benefit patients from across Greater Manchester who use our hospitals.

What difference will these changes make to me and my family?

Patients and their relatives and carers will experience a number of benefits including:

  • Better continuity of care wherever you are treated
  • Consistently high standards of services at all hospitals
  • Stronger teams sharing specialised skills 24/7

The new Trust will also have

  • More opportunity to attract and keep the best staff
  • More joined up patient record and clinical systems
  • Less duplication and waste across sites
  • Increased opportunities to attract research funding

What are the timescales?

The new organisation will be created in two parts.

Firstly, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) will join together to create a new Foundation Trust in October 2017. Then, the plan is for North Manchester General Hospital (which is currently part of The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust) to join the new organisation around 12-18 months later.

In order for the merger to take place, we need to have the approval of both Boards of Directors (the people responsible for all aspects of operation and performance including setting corporate strategy) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as well as a satisfactory risk rating from NHS Improvement (NHS I).

On 1 August 2017 the CMA announced in its final independent report that it has cleared the merger between CMFT and UHSM as it will be of overall benefit to patients. You can read more about this announcement here.

As well as the above approvals, and as part of the assurance process, the Council of Governors (elected representatives for members and the public) of both UHSM and CMFT will then be asked to vote upon whether the appropriate process has been followed by the Boards in relation to the merger.

Work on these processes is continuing and we remain on track to establish the new organisation on 1st October 2017, subject to that clearance.

The key dates for the SHS programme are:

  • 24thAugust: Interim Board of Directors for the new Foundation Trust meets with the Board of NHS Improvement (the Regulator)
  • Start of September: NHS Improvement announces risk rating
  • Early September: Boards of Directors for UHSM and CMFT confirm decision to merge
  • Mid September: Council of Governors for UHSM and CMFT vote on the process that has been followed
  • Late September: NHS Improvement grants application for merger
  • 1stOctober: New organisation comes into existence
  • 12-18 months later: North Manchester General Hospital joins the new organisation.

Information about Central Manchester University Hospitals (CMFT)

CMFT is an integrated health, research and teaching hospitals group with a comprehensive range of services, an extensive research portfolio and state-of-the-art facilities. It is a leading provider of hospital, community and specialist health services for Manchester and Trafford. It treats more than a million patients every year, and is responsible for running a family of six hospitals across central Manchester and Trafford: Manchester Royal Infirmary, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, University Dental Hospital of Manchester and Trafford Hospitals.

More information can be found on CMFT’s website here.

Who is leading the new organisation?

In the run-up to a decision being made about the SHS, a 20-strong Interim Board of Directors has been appointed. It is led by Chairman Kathy Cowell, Deputy Chairman Barry Clare and Chief Executive Sir Michael Deegan.

Kathy Cowell OBE DL, Chairman

A banker by profession, Kathy worked for Cheshire Building Society for 24 years until taking early retirement in 2006.  She has held several Chairman and Non-Executive roles in health, including Chairman of the East Cheshire NHS Acute Trust; NHS Cluster/PCT Chairman; and Vice Chairman of Warrington Hospital NHS Acute Trust.

Her other current roles include:

  • Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire
  • Ambassador for Diversity in Public Appointments
  • Panel member for Queens Volunteers Awards (QVAs)
  • Vice Chair of Cheshire Young Carers.

Barry Clare, Deputy Chairman

Barry is a pioneering healthcare business leader with extensive experience in the healthcare industry sector. He has held a number of top roles at leading international companies, including Boots, and has a proven track record in developing and implementing strategy in healthcare, retail consumer products and financial services.

Following his career at Boots, Barry has been Chairman of a number of successful, pioneering healthcare companies that have brought several ground breaking innovations to the NHS. Barry’s portfolio of innovative healthcare solutions includes e-health business, diagnostics tests and medicines development.

Sir Michael Deegan CBE, Chief Executive

Mike holds a first degree in law and a Masters degree in industrial relations from the University of Warwick, and has worked widely across the public sector including roles in local government and education.

He was previously Chief Executive at Warrington Hospital and then North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

At a national level, Mike was involved in the preparation of the Government’s NHS Plan in 2000, and has held the post of Director of Human Resources for the NHS. He served as Chair of the Shelford Group of Foundation Trusts from 2016/17.

The other members of the Interim Board of Directors are:

Executive Directors

Deputy Chief Executives: Silas Nicholls and Gill Heaton

Chief Finance Officer: Adrian Roberts

Chief Operating Officer: Julia Bridgewater

Chief Nurse: Cheryl Lenney

Joint Medical Directors: Professor Bob Pearson and Miss Toli Onon

Director of Workforce and OD: Margot Johnson

Director of Strategy: Darren Banks

Non-Executive Directors

John Amaechi

Professor Dame Susan Bailey

Roger Barlow

Dr Ivan Bennett

Nic Gower

Jane McCall

Christine McLoughlin

Trevor Rees.


What will the new organisation be called?

Earlier this year we asked staff, patient groups, Governors and local stakeholders to share their views on the name of the new organisation. They were asked to identify their preferred name from a shortlist of three. Following the Interim Board meeting on 11th July, it has been confirmed that the name will be Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT).

How are Governors involved in shaping SHS plans?

CMFT and UHSM Governors have been closely involved in ensuring that the interests of members, patients and the wider public are considered as part of the Single Hospital Service planning process.

Beginning in December 2016, they have taken part in four joint Governor workshops to explore the potential benefits of creating one new organisation to provide much better, safer, more consistent hospital care.

At these workshops, Governors, on behalf of members and the wider public, have shared their views and assessed in detail the plans to develop and implement the SHS.

In addition to dedicated SHS Governor Meetings frequently being held throughout the past year, UHSM Chairman Barry Clare has also held informal drop-in sessions with Governors to personally answer questions and discuss the SHS programme of work.

Your views are important to us – tell us what matters to you

The interests of our members, the patients that we serve and the wider public are important to the Board of Directors. Your feedback will help them when making key decisions about the health services of the future across Greater Manchester. Our Governors also want to be sure that your views are represented and considered as part of the Board’s future plans.

In order to capture your interests and views, we would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete our online questionnaire.